The film that I chose for today I have to admit was a choice that I made because of how much I loved the game show television series Legends Of The Hidden Temple which originally aired on Nickelodeon in the early to mid-1990’s. Now some 21 years later, the series is now a film and I chose it for today. All Noah (Colin Critchley) cares about on this family vacation is to prove to them that the Legend Of The Hidden Temple is a real thing. After receiving a map from the tour guide (The TV series host Kirk Fogg), he decides to enter the temple along with his two siblings. The only problem is that they have awoken the legendary Olmec (Dee Bradley Baker) who sends them on a mission to find both sides of the amulet or they are stuck in the temple forever. The film also stars Jet Jurgensmeyer (The Little Rascals Save The Day) as Dudley, Isabela Moner (Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life) as Sadie, Michael Benyaer (Deadpool) as Human version of Olmec, Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Thak, Ioan Sebastian Tirlui (The Birth Of Venus) as Zuma, Catia Ojeda (30 Rock) as Mom, David Michie (Halloween) as Dad, and the film was directed by Joe Menendez (12 Monkeys).
The film is only an hour and five minutes long which is kind of an ode to the old days of film that was like that, but it’s an enjoyable film. The film kind of reminds me of The Goonies, but with Aztec stories and adventure. I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle a film version considering that it was a game show before, but the writing department deserves some kudos because they pulled it off. The only thing is that at times they stop too much to explain every little thing, but it’s not too big of an issue. It kind of helps as far as driving the story forward. One thing that I think could have been better is this dramatic scene between Noah and his sister Sadie in the shrine of the silver monkey. It was just a little too over-dramatic for my tastes. One thing that was funny about that sequence is that everyone had a hard time putting the silver monkey together on the game show and everyone does in the film as well. A funny nod to the struggles of putting that darn thing together. If you ever watched the TV series then you know the set design was going to be off the hook which it definitely was. The costumes for the ancient warriors were great and I love the odes to the series they throw in there like the T-shirt Noah wears once he is in the temple. I also loved the fact that they had the original voice of Olmec and the host himself Kirk Fogg in the film to give it that nostalgic feeling. This is definitely one that the kids should enjoy and if you get a chance, make them familiar with the TV series as well. The film is available on Nick.com and obviously on-demand. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
After today there are only 3 Sundays left in the whole entire year which means I am coming close to achieving my goal and it also means there are only three Sundays At The Classics left. The film I chose for today is one that I couldn’t resist watching considering that it’s Christmas Season and I am talking about It’s A Wonderful Life. George Bailey (James Stewart) is someone who has always put others before himself, but he is also a guy who has had big dreams of doing things like travelling the world. Unfortunately for George, he has never been able to do it because he has put others including is father’s struggling business the Building & Loans ahead of his wants. One day a large sum of money goes missing and George doesn’t know what to do, but when he thinks of something bad, God sends him a Guardian Angel who is still trying to earn his wings to try and save him. The film also stars Donna Reed (From Here To Eternity) as Mary, Lionel Barrymore (Key Largo) as Mr. Potter, Thomas Mitchell (Gone With The Wind) as Uncle Billy, Henry Travers (The Invisible Man) as Clarence, Gloria Hallward (Oklahoma) as Violet, Ward Bond (The Maltese Falcon) as Bert, Frank Faylen (Funny Girl) as Ernie, and the film was directed by Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington).
They really were not kidding when they said that this was one of the best films of all time. James Stewart was one of the best actors of all time whether he starred in the Capra films or the Hitchcock films. He was absolutely masterful in the film as the guy who is so full of dreams and wonder that he puts all of it aside to do what is right by people in this town of Bedford Falls. One of my favorite scenes with him in the film is when he wishes that he was never born and the guardian angel Clarence grants it to him. What happens next is absolutely masterful as he goes through the town desperate to convince that it’s all a dream until he realizes that it’s reality. Donna Reed is also fantastic as Mary, his wife in the film and I can’t really complain about anyone because everyone was great. The cinematography was amazing, but there was one scene that I thought was cheesy. There’s this scene where the camera pans up to space. We see what looks like galaxies and it ends up being Joseph and I believe Jesus. They start talking to each other and that’s when they put Clarence on the job, but when they talk flashing bulbs behind the picture signify who is talking. Other than that, this is one of the best films and very inspirational because the moral is to stand up to the man no matter what because they don’t always want what’s best for everyone. Check out the film for yourself, I am going to give it an A+ for a final grade.
I want to start off by wishing everyone a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. Some of us may be stuffing ourselves with food and we may start to think about dieting. What happens when a diet is forced upon you? Well that get’s answered with today’s film Heavy Weights. Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) just wants to have fun for his summer break from school, but that all changes when his parents force him to go to fat camp. The camp looks like it’s going to be fun until a new owner by the name of Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) comes along. Tony wants to film an infomercial proving that he can make fat kids lose weight so he can make the major bucks. The problem for him is the campers get sick of him and decide to retaliate. The film also stars Tom McGowan (Bad Santa) as Pat, Cody Burger (National Lampoon’s Christmas Christmas Vacation) as Cody, Allen Covert (Big Daddy) as Kenny, Shaun Weiss (The Mighty Ducks) as Josh, Tom Hodges (Stigmata) as Lars, Leah Lail (Little Nicky) as Julie, Kenan Thompson (Kenan and Kel) as Roy, Paul Feig (Ghostbusters) as Tim, Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover) as Maury Garner, Lauren Hill (The House Bunny) as Angelic Girl, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Little Nicky). The film even features Judd Apatow who gets his first writing credit with the film.
I really honestly believe that if I had seen this back in the 90’s when it came out that I probably would have found this film funnier. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film, but it’s just filled with 90’s esque kids comedy humor.Ben Stiller was absolutely amazing in the film and this was a time when he was still playing the jerk in films (like Happy Gilmore). He has some real memorable lines and moments in the film like when he escapes from his cage and he is trying to get back at Gerry and his dad. That whole sequence is classic Ben Stiller cause we’ve seen it in Dodgeball as well. There was also a Mighty Ducks Thing going on in this film with Keenan Thompson, Shaun Weiss, and Aaron Schwartz who all starred together in this film. We also see director Paul Feig act in this film which was crazy cause I didn’t realize that it was him. The cruel thing about this film is that some of the stereotypes are actually true when you are an 11 or 12 year old and you’re fat. There’s the scene where Tony invites an all girls camp to come to a dance with all the fat kids to try and prove a point to them that nobody wants them cause their fat. Other than that, the film has some funny moments to it and if you’re a fan of 90’s movies then this is one that should be on your list. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I am doing an entry for the blog because I can’t believe that I have been committed for 250 straight days now. So for the 250TH day, I wanted to watch something special and I chose to watch Casper which was based off of one my favorite cartoons as a child. Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) is money hungry so when she finds out her neurotic father has passed away she goes and finds out that she has inherited an old house with secret treasure inside. When she goes to the house, she discovers that there’s a ghost inside and she decides to hire a ghost shrink named Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman). Harvey takes the job and he takes his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) who befriends the friendly ghost named Casper (Malachi Pearson) while her dad tries to deal with the other three unruly ghosts. The film also stars Eric Idle (Monty Python And The Holy Grail) as Dibbs, Joe Nipote (Viper) as Stretch, Joe Alaskey (Duck Dodgers) as Stinkie, Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Fatso, Amy Brenneman (Heat) as Amelia Harvey, Devon Sawa (Final Destination) as Casper in Human Form, Chauncey Leopardi (The Sandlot) as Nicky, Jessica Wesson (Milk Money) as Amber, and the film was directed by Brad Silberling (City Of Angels).
Believe it or not, it has taken me 21 years to see this film and to be perfectly honest with all of you I have no idea why. The one thing that I can say about the film adaptation of Casper is that it was fun to watch. You can’t expect an Oscar winning film out of it, but a film that you just have fun watching. This was the type of film that really relied on slapstick comedy to drive the laughs especially with the ghostly trio or the unruly three (whatever you want to call them) and Eric Idle who is a master of it. The one thing I liked about the film that I don’t remember happening with the cartoon was Casper crossing back over to be a human. I thought that it was a very cool move to imagine what he would have looked like as a human being or a fleshy as they call us. I loved seeing Christina Ricci in the film although every time I see her I just think that she is Wednesday Adams all grown up. I don’t know if I have a favorite scene from the film because it was just so enjoyable to watch. The scene where he makes breakfast is pretty good and I even enjoyed the sequence with Carrigan as a ghost as well. The film is currently available on HBOGO as long as you have a subscription to that, but I’m sure you can find it just about anywhere. I am going to recommend this film especially if you were a fan of the cartoon. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
I was so impressed with the first film in the Harry Potter franchise that I watched yesterday that I decided to watch another. That is right, I chose Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets for today’s film. Everyone’s favorite young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is back at home with his dreadful Aunt and Uncle once again, but a house elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) tries to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts Academy. Despite what Dobby said, Harry returns back to Hogwarts only to find that students are being petrified by something. Harry discovers that there is a place in the school called the Chamber of Secrets that was created by the founder Slytherin. Harry finds out that the chamber houses a monster who will kill mudbloods (impure wizards) and that it will be opened by the heir of Slytherin, but who is it? The film also stars Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Jason Isaacs (The Tuxedo) as Lucius Malfoy, Robbie Coltrane (From Hell) as Hagrid, Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) as Professor Lockhart, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting) as Moaning Myrtle, Christian Coulson (The Hours) as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Bonnie Wright (The Sea) as Ginny Weasley, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
When you do a sequel to a film or when you do a sequel to a film that you know is a part of a bigger picture your only hope is that it’s better than the first film. That was definitely the case with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets which I enjoyed more than the last before it. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this film is that they added a little bit of suspense to the film where you’re trying to figure out who the heir is. You’re trying to figure out who the monster is and who will he attack? That is honestly what I really loved about this film since I love thrillers. The special effects for this film were turned up a notch for this film and who doesn’t love Dobby? Dobby was honestly the comedic relief the film needed and I am glad that he was a part of the story. He has so many funny moments in the film with Harry and there is one scene that you will absolutely love. The sets were amazing as usual, but my favorite is when he entered the chamber of secrets. There is this one room where he meets the giant monster and the cool looking set which you can see in the picture in this paragraph. There is so much classic cinematography and lighting tricks in this film that are absolutely cool. One scene I noticed was the scene with Dracoy’s father Lucius who when the camera was on him, only his eyes were lit like a true villain while Harry’s who face was illuminated as e was the hero. I had a lot of fun watching this one which is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I know what you are thinking and I have to be perfectly honest with all of you in saying that I have never seen any of the films in the Harry Potter series. I figured what better time than now to see one and therefore I watched Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone for today’s film. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has always been somewhat gifted of a child, but he doesn’t understand why. He lives a life of neglect with his awful Aunt and Uncle until a wizard from the Hogwarth’s Academy named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) comes calling for him. It is there that Harry will understand his abilities and live out his full potential. Although while all of this is happening, he stumbles upon an evil scheme to kidnap a stone that could bring back an evil being. The film also stars Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) as Professor McGonagall, Richard Harris (Gladiator) as Professor Dumbledore, Ian Hart (Finding Neverland) as Professor Quirrell, Warwick Davis (Leprechaun) as Goblin Bank Teller, Rupert Grint (CBGB) as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson (The Colony) as Hermione Granger, Tom Felton (Risen) as Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Professor Snape, Matthew Lewis (Me Before You) as Neville Longbottom, John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) as Nearly Headless Nick, and the film was directed by Chris Columbus (The Goonies).
I do have to say that after watching this film, I am super excited to continue on and see the rest of the films. The idea and topic of wizards and witches may be corny to some, but this was actually a well written story that I believe that anyone with an imagination can get into. The elements of the film that make these amazing and very interesting is what you don’t see watching the film. It’s seeing the camera work and the different perspectives and how they messed with depth perception to make Hagrid look like a giant compared to other characters just by messing with the angles. The other cool element of the film is of course the special effects and all of the things they made come to life. One of my favorite scenes in the film is with the owls who are basically the postal service. Harry’s evil Uncle has been keeping him from seeing any of the letters and the amount of Owls that show up and what they do was super cool. Not to mention, fluffy the three headed dog and the little dragon were cool as well. The other scene that I loved was the big chess match that happens at the end of the film, a very cool scene indeed. A very well acted film, a well written story, and some amazing cinematography made this a very enjoyable film to watch. I will definitely be checking out some more films in the series for sure. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.
The film I chose for today is one of the most highly anticipated animated films of the summer and I have been waiting for The Secret Life Of Pets since I first saw the trailer. Have you ever wondered what your pets do when no one is around? Do they just sit there and wait for you for are they are up to something when you’re not around? For Max (Louis C.K.) his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) is his whole entire life and he is content waiting for her to come home every night. Well one night Katie brings hoe an unexpected guess in the form of a big shaggy rescue dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The battle that ensues between the both of them causes them to be lost in the city with a frighteningly psycho bunny (Kevin Hart) after them while it’s up to their friends to come to the rescue. The film also stars Jenny Slate (Zootopia) as Gidget, Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo) as Tiberius, Lake Bell (Children’s Hospital) as Chloe, Dana Carvey (Wayne’s World) as Pops, Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home) as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan (Sisters) as Mel, Michael Beattie (Minions) as Tattoo, and the film was directed by Yarrow Cheney (The Iron Giant) and Chris Renaud (Despicable Me 2).
I don’t know what anyone else in the world is saying about The Secret Life Of Pets, but I am here to tell you that it may have dethroned Zootopia as my favorite animated film of the year. I still have to see Finding Dory to fully make the call as to what my favorite animated film is, but this movie rocks. The thing that was great about this film is that for the most part the animals act exactly like how their breed or kind would. This was a film that I couldn’t stop laughing from seeing a cat act like a typical cat to the jokes that were delivered with precision. There are some scenes in the film that can be depressing and you’ll see for yourself, but for the most part the film is fun. One of the scenes I was looking forward to the most was the scene with the poodle and his love for System Of A Down. The only thing I can say is that the scene kind of comes and goes pretty quick. So be prepared for it, but it’s also not his only scene. One of the real highlights of the film for me was when Pops (voiced by Dana Carvey) shows up cause his sense of humor is very morbid which is sometimes typical of the elderly. “Hey Pops, How are You.” says one of the characters to which Pops replies, “I’m Paralyzed.” That’s how morbid he can get. The film is a lot of fun to watch and I had a lot of laughs. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it rocks. Check it out in theaters every where now.
There are some stories in life that are so amazing when they are brought on to the screen which is what the original 1967 Walt Disney animated film The Jungle Book did. Now, what if we take one of the coolest stories combine it with the director that helped put Marvel back on the map in Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and made it a live action film for today’s feature film. For Mowgli (Neel Sethi), the only life he has known since he was a baby was the life and laws of the jungle as he has been taken care of by a pack of wolves and a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kinglsey). That is until one day when he is confronted by an evil Tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) who is intent on killing the child for living in the jungle. So in order to ensure his own safety and the safety of all the animals, Mowgli agrees to leave, but he may have to come back to save them. The film also stars Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) as Baloo, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as Raksha, Scarlett Johansson (Avengers) as Kaa, Christopher Walken (Dead Zone) as King Louie, Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show) as Ikki, Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects) as Akela, and Brighton Rose (Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy) as Gray.
This was by far one of my favorite movies of the year and it’s ranked up there with Deadpool and any other movie I’ve seen this year so far.This film is non stop fun and adventure from beginning to end and I was so disappointed it was over because I wanted more. All of the characters in the film were absolutely amazing from the acting to the design and the scenes themselves. Bill Murray was an absolute star in this film as everyone’s favorite bear Baloo and believe me Murray delivered. It was such a joy to see him as the bear on the big screen and Neel Sethi did a terrific job as Mowgli too. You were 100% sold that this kid was raised in the jungle and that he communicated with the animals. Now if you are looking forward to seeing Kaa on the big screen, I am going to warn you that you may be a tiny bit disappointed on the amount of screen time she has in the film. Another pleasant surprise for me was hearing Christopher Walken play everyone’s favorite Orangutan King Louie (except he’s a giant one in this film). The story is amazing, the way it came to life on the screen was amazing, and the cinematography was amazing too. Like I said this is definitely one of my favorite films of the month so far and I think everyone should go and check it out in the theaters. A second Jungle Book film has already been announced according to IMDB so I look forward to it. With all of that being said, I am going to proceed and give the film an A+ for a final grade.
I figured since Alice Through The Looking Glass is going to come out this year that I better watch the first film Alice In Wonderland so that I have an idea of what I am getting into. For Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska), she has been having dreams and visions of a land where animals talk, but for her she is always told they are dreams. That is until one day when she is about to be courted for marriage, she sees a rabbit with clothing on and she decides to follow it where she falls into a rabbit hole. Upon arriving in the magical world of Underland, she finds out that it has been held captive by the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and it is up to Alice to save Underland, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), and slay the Jabberwocky. The film also stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Hatter, Crispin Glover (Back To The Future) as Stayne-Knave Of Hearts, Matt Lucas (Shaun Of The Dead) as Tweedle Dee/Dum, Michael Sheen (Underworld) as White Rabbit, Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) as Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) as Blue Caterpillar, Barbara Windsor (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Dormouse, Timothy Spall (Rock Star) as Bayard, and the film was directed by Tim Burton (Batman 1989).
One thing is for sure, this has to be about the billionth time that Burton has worked with Johnny Depp. It’s sort of like Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro back in the day and all of the great director/actor combinations. The same thing rings true as well with Helena Bonham Carter, but she’s married to Burton so it’s expected. The one thing I can say about all of them is that they were absolutely brilliant in the film. I actually didn’t mind Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter (unlike his portrayal as Willy Wonka which I hated) because he nailed this role. He was both witty and crazy all wrapped in one and his performance was on point. The other thing I loved about the film was all of the visual aesthetics involved. The film was visually stunning to look at from the sets and the looks of the creatures. I know that a lot of it was filmed with a green screen and some animation, but the visuals is what kept me glued to the screen. The world of Underland is visually amazing even though it’s dark and desolate due to the fact that the Red Queen has taken over. It’s kind of sad to watch this film and hear Alan Rickman’s voice knowing that he is gone, but we know his voice is in the next film. and I cannot wait to check that out. My only hope is that the next one is a good as this one. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.